Traditional medicine is based on a pathologic model. The patient needs to
be cured. This idea of disease applies to most forms of medicine from
Eastern energetic work to shamanic soul retrieval. Many will contend
that all forms of medicine are based on pathologic principles.
This is contrasted to the idea of wellness where each person has a potential to realistically achieve a better state of health. Most holistic principles are based on wellness not medicine.
Western (allopathic) medicine has grown to be very powerful and as a consequence also very dangerous if misapplied. A lot of attention is dedicated to diagnosis where you determine not only the cause of the problem with a reasonable degree of certainty but also a determination of what it is not. This is extremely important when a misdiagnosis can cause more harm than good.
To this end the medical community has deliberately excluded from medicine things that it does not fully understand or skills that are based on individual talents. This is a trade off. Where appropriate, they can provide life saving drugs and procedures based on science and scientific thinking. This type of rational think is based on atomistic principles of breaking things down into components to be able to deal with them in a simplistic way. It is important when with procedures and drugs that have serious consequences if misapplied that we work within the scope of the repeatable and logical even if it means that we loose sight to the bigger picture and the complexities of the whole person.
The idea of complementary medicine is growing but it is resisted by both sides. From the medical community who sees it as quackery and from the alternative medicine community who see only the dangers in misapplied medicine. For example, we had a cat who we took to the vet because of symptoms of congestive heat failure. The vet did some tests including x-rays and found that one lung was completely filled with fluid and she felt that the cat did not have long to live. I performed the same sort of thing on the cat as I do on people to drain the lung and the cat felt fine the next day. X-rays done two days later showed the lung to be completely clear. The vet could not explain it and even though she felt it was impossible according to medical science could not acknowledge that alternate treatments can work in some cases where medical science does not.
Alternative medicine has its own dangers. The most common is that people try alternatives that do not work, depriving a person of the real care that they need. They persist with treatments that do not work and do not get the help they need.
I feel that an expert is a person who truly understands his or her limitations. This concept applies to getting help for health related matters. There are no magic bullets. Trust those who believe that they are only part of the solution. A person who tells you they they are the only answer for everyone is either a charlatan or will mold your problems to what he or she can offer. Both should be avoided.